Kolkata: Charging the Narendra Modi government with destroying and compromising all important institutions of democracy, including the Union Cabinet, Parliament, Supreme Court and the media, former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha on Sunday said the only way out for the country is to elect a new government in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
Sinha, a bitter critic of Modi, resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier this year and launched a country-wide campaign against the present government and his former party.
Participating in a talk show “Idea of Bengal”, organised by the social media cell of the Trinamool Congress, Sinha went all guns blazing against Modi and his governance, and went on to compare him with the 14th century Sultan of Delhi Muhammad bin Tughluq yet again.
Drawing a comparison between the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government with Atal Behari Vajpayee as Prime Minister from 1998 to 2004 (apart from a brief stint in 1996), and the present one under Modi, Sinha praised Vajpayee’s stature and personality that enabled him to take along 22 parties of the coalition without much difficulty.
“There is a world of difference between that government and the Prime Minister and this government and the Prime Minister of today. And the most important difference in my mind is that the members of the cabinet mattered in those days.
“Now they don’t matter. Nobody matters in this government. The first in terms of institutional devaluation which has taken place is the Cabinet,” he said, while dwelling on “Demonetisation, black money and broken promises”.
Sinha alleged that in the Modi regime, the Finance Minister did not know of the demonetisation exercise of 2016, the Defence Minister was in the dark about the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, “and we know about the fate of the External Affairs Minister (who was trolled on Twitter for ‘Muslism appeasement’ allegedly by Hindutva sympathisers)”.
Refering to Parliament, he said the Rajya Sabha’s authority has been taken away by declaring legislations as money bill.
“You did not discuss the Aadhar bill (in Rajya Sabha) because it was touted as a money bill. The budget for the whole year this time has been passed without discussion in Parliament. This only happens during an emergency.”
Iterating that the Supreme Court has been compromised, Sinha said: “Senior judges held a press conference… retired Justice Joseph Kurian Joseph has said that even the Chief Justice of India has been compromised. Who do we believe? Judges of Supreme Court of course, who tell us that democracy is threatened and the Supreme Court of India is compromised.”
He said institutions like the Election Commission, Reserve Bank of India and the State Bank of India have suffered the same fate.
“The latest addition to the ignominious list is the Information Commission. …the posts were not filled up. And the last Information Commissioner, who is now retired, has written to the President of India how the Information Commission is being compromised.”
Rapping Modi for the demonetisation exercise, he said: “I had then reminded people that there was another ruler who had actually done demonetisation among other silly things he did. That was Muhammad bin Tughluq.”
When Trinamool Rajya Sabha leader Derek O’Brien, who was moderating the session, asked him whether Modi has similarity with Tughluq, Sinha said: “He has, obviously. Demonetisation is the most important example of that.”